Meet the Herd

Our first draft horse- Levi.   Levi is a registered North American Spotted Draft Horse and was born in 2001.  He is part Percheron and Shire with a bit of unknown riding horse mixed in.  He came to live with us in 2002.  When he was 3 years old, he was saddle broke and was a trail horse until we converted him to driving horse in 2007.   He was diagnosed with allergies that leave him so uncomfortable in the summer, he goes on vacation until the first frost of the fall.  He does work with a team mate, but excels in single horse vehicles.  He’s 16.2 hands tall and weighs 1800 pounds.  11107182_10204209150337977_5224457142708124011_n-3316155_1965273620534_4602645_n

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Levi and Haylee

Having a ‘matched’ team is wonderful, however, we don’t place as high a priority on matching colors or sizes as we do matching temperament and gait.

Horses that don’t match in color used to be called a Boston Match, the term originating in Boston when describing the Boston Fire Horses that were unmatched in color.

When Levi’s allergies were discovered, it was decided we should look for another horse to drive during the time Levi was unable.  After shopping around, we came upon a pretty little filly in southern Michigan, a breed we knew nothing about, called Brabant.  She was born in the spring of 2010, and came to live with us in October 2010.  The typical Brabant horse is shorter in stature, but heavy boned and short bodied.  However, Haylee turned out to be anything but typical. She is 17 hands high and weighs around 2300 pounds.

Haylee is an American Brabant- a cross between an European Brabant and an American Belgian.    Haylee and her brothers Fergus and Finn, are a color called Blue Roan which is a mixture of black and white hairs mixed together giving them a blue or grayish coloration.  They have black “points”-  Ears, nose, mane, tail and legs.   Their winter hair coat is very dark, almost charcoal and as they shed in the spring, they become very light ashy gray with black points.

Haylee at 12 months old, her first winter with us.
Two year old Haylee in her spring colors. She along with her siblings, change colors three times a year as they shed summer to winter, winter to spring, spring to summer.
While pastured in the front yard,Haylee discovered the sugar water in the hummingbird feeders and emptied two of them before we realized what was happening!

 

 

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Curly haired Finn with the star with Fergus. August 2013

Not long after Haylee came to us, we decided we liked her temperament so much, we wanted another one just like her, so we put in an order with our horse supplier.  It took a couple of years, but… in 2013… in the deal of a lifetime, we acquired Fergus and Finn, half brothers to each other and Haylee.

Finn
Fergus

 

 

 

 

 

 

Finn at a year and a half old, went to his first public event, the Port Oneida Fair in the Sleeping Bear Dunes National Park.
Finn, Haylee and Fergus at the May 2017 Plow Day hosted by Ruby Ellen Farm in Leelanau County.
April 2017 Hannah (to the far right), the youngest of the Brabant siblings, has a good start on her career. She’s done well and will be at many more public events in 2018.

 

 

September 2016.  Our newest addition to the herd. This is Chuckles- (Chuck) is a purebred Percheron we brought from Canada. Why did we go so far for a horse? Chuck comes from an old-style Percheron background, he’ll be a tad bit shorter and stockier than some of his American cousins. His personality is exceptional, calm and curious. Those factors will make it easier to match him to our shorter, stockier Brabants.
October 2016. 3 Year old Finn perfects his abilities with big sister Haylee showing him what he needs to do.

Finn on the left and Haylee on the right, give riders a farm tour.

Feeling frisky in Fall! Roscoe the Instigator leads the charge, with Hannah close behind and Haylee bringing up the rear! It’s a bit shocking to see how fast these big guys can pick up the pace!
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After the Shiver by the River parade in Frankfort MI. Levi and Haylee

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Fergus & Finn in their dark winter coats.

 

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Finn, Hannah, Fergus

Little sister Hannah is a Brabant- American Belgian cross. She was born in December of 2013.  She is much shorter than her big sister Haylee , but weighs about 1700 lbs.  She will grow more in the next year or two.

February 2018- Hannah and Chuckles work well together, they are still learning and will need more practice before they take on big jobs.
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It was thought that Hannah, having the same parents as Haylee, would also be Blue Roan. However, she’s this wonderful dark chocolate bay. In the spring she does roan out a bit on her hips, into a blue roan type color, but sheds out to a chocolate bay. She’s a bay blue-roan!

 

 

 

 

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Fergus & Hannah during the color change time of year. Fergus almost looks burgundy!

Here’s Roscoe, our Pony-Horse Mascot. He was given to us in 2014 at the age of around 1 1/2 years old.  He’s a pony/horse cross and at first we weren’t sure if we would keep him, or fatten him up and find him a forever home.  However, his pony antics were too hard to resist and his job for now,  is to be a companion horse, playmate and draft horse athletic director.  He keeps those big guys moving!

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